Archive for the ‘sole custody’ tag

Understanding Illinois Visitation Rights

April 2nd, 2015 at 2:59 pm

visitation, visitation rights, Illinois Family Law Attorneys

Every custody arrangement is unique. In some cases, the court elects to award joint custody to both parents. This means that both parents are expected to cooperatively make decisions related to the child’s upbringing, including his or her education, religious training, and other considerations. The court may require parents with joint custody to draft a joint parenting agreement outlining each of their respective responsibilities and establishing an arrangement regarding the child’s time with each parent.

In other cases, the court recognizes that granting one parent sole custody is in the child’s best interest. The custodial parent is responsible for making the important decisions related to the child, and retains primary physical custody. Under Illinois law, the non-custodial parent is granted the reasonable right to visitation with the child.

In some cases, a relative other than a child’s parent may receive visitation rights. This can include the child’s grandparent or sibling if the court determines that such a visitation agreement is in the child’s best interest. Otherwise, this right is generally reserved for the child’s parents. Another relative will be granted visitation rights with a child only if the parents are unreasonable in denying visitation and specific familial circumstances exists, such as where one of the child’s parents is deceased or missing for at least three months.

Restrictions on Visitation Rights

If necessary, the court may impose restrictions on a parent’s visitation rights with his or her child in order to ensure the child’s safety. These restrictions may include:

  • Prohibiting the parent from using drugs or alcohol while in the child’s presence;
  • Requiring that the visits occur in the custodial parent’s home;
  • Prohibiting the visits from occurring in the non-custodial parent’s home;
  • Prohibiting overnight visits; and
  • Requiring that the visits be supervised by a third party.

These restrictions are put in place to protect the child. If a parent violates these restrictions, the court may modify or suspend his or her visitation rights entirely. Examples of reasons why a parent’s visitation rights may be suspended include:

  • If the parent has a history of harming the child. This can be physical harm, emotional harm, neglect, or psychological harm;
  • If the parent is found guilty of a crime against a child; and
  • If the parent is currently suffering from any type of substance addiction.

Chicago Family Attorneys

Call 312-345-9999 to speak with one of the experienced family attorneys at Anderson & Associates, P.C. about your child custody case. We are here to serve you in one of our five convenient office locations in the Chicago area: Wheaton, Northbrook, Orland Park, downtown Chicago, and Schaumburg. Child custody cases can be sensitive and create friction within families. Contact our firm for expert legal advice and representation on this and other difficult family law matters. We will give your case the dedication and attention to detail it deserves.

 

Petitioning for Sole or Joint Child Custody

March 4th, 2015 at 7:00 am

joint custody, sole custody, Illinois Family Law AttorneyIllinois recognizes two types of child custody agreements: sole and joint custody. If you are considering filing for divorce and you have children, deciding between sole and joint custody will be one of the most important choices you make during your case. The best interest of the child or children will be the first consideration with the judge, which is determined bsd on several factors set forth in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. In order to understand what these factors are and how they may apply to you and your family, you should speak with an experienced Chicago child custody and divorce lawyer.

Sole Custody vs. Joint Custody

Sole and joint custody does not just refer to which parent will have the child more or less time than the other. More importantly, it involves the decision-making power of each parent. When you are filing for divorce and children are involved, the court will take several considerations into account, including, but not limited to:

  • Who is the primary caregiver;
  • Wishes of the parents and child or children in question;
  • The nature of the relationship each parent has with the child;
  • History or likelihood of abuse while under each parent’s care;
  • Living situation at each parent’s house; and
  • Likelihood of the custodial parent to foster a relationship between the child and non-custodial parent.

If a parent has sole custody, the child will live with the parent and the parent will have the legal rights to make all major decisions regarding the child. These decisions include education, religion, medical, and other major life-changing decisions. The custodial parent may ask the non-custodial parent for their opinion, but ultimately, the sole custodial parent makes the decisions. This does not mean the non-custodial parent will not see the child; they typically will have visitation rights as ordered by the court.

Parents with joint custody, on the other hand, must work together to make the major decisions for the child to further his or her best interest. They can work through their lawyers or a court appointed mediator to work out their differences when making decision about education, religion, medical procedures, and other important issues. In joint custody situation, one parent is usually designated as the residential parent, meaning the parent with whom the resides primarily, and the other parent will have a visitation schedule. Ultimately, a Joint Parenting Agreement that outlines each parent’s powers, rights, and responsibilities, will be signed by both parties and entered with the court.

Best Interest of the Child

Illinois courts may consider the wishes of both parents and the child, and typically will approve custody arrangements negotiated by the parties, but the judge is not required to do so. The judge must take the child’s best interest into account and make a decision based on the findings of his or her investigations into each parent, living situations, income, and any other relevant information. Using your children to hurt your spouse may end up hurting your case if the judge feels you are trying to petition for sole custody just to hurt your spouse’s relationship with your children or for tactical purposes in your divorce case.

If you are filing for divorce and have children, you will want to ensure that your divorce judgment furthers your children’s best interest. Contact a Chicago child custody attorney today to discuss your options regarding the custody agreement for your family’s situation. Anderson & Associates, P.C. assists clients in Illinois from one of our five offices, conveniently located in Chicago, Schaumburg, Wheaton, Northbrook, and Orland Park.